LONDON -- Pizza Hut U.K. has appointed John Derkach its new chief executive. He takes over for Mark Jones, who resigned in June.
According to the Financial Times, Derkach comes from Whitbread Restaurants, which is the joint-venture partner between Pizza Hut U.K. and Pizza Hut's U.S. parent corporation, Yum! Brands, in Louisville, Ky.
With Whitbread, Derkach served three years as managing director for the Beefeater restaurant chain, where he reversed a seven-year drop in sales and profits. Prior to Beefeater, he was marketing director for Whitbread Beer Company.
Pizza Hut U.K. is the leader in the country's £1.9 billion (U.S. $2.8 billion) pizza market, and posted record sales of £309.8 million (U.S. $471 million) for its last fiscal year, which ended March 2002.
This year the company plans to invest £75 million (U.S. $114.2 million) to open 75 new outlets, which will create 3,000 jobs.